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USAID Jamaica Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS)

The USAID Jamaica Country  Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS) 2020 - 2025 highlights the importance of local capacity development: "From 2020-2025, USAID will pursue a strategic transition in its assistance to Jamaica, marking a different approach and the employment of a new strategic partnership model. At the center of this shift, the Mission will emphasize support for Jamaican-led initiatives, helping to mobilize domestic resources (including the private sector’s), and changing the donor-recipient relationship."  Development Objective 2 under the CDCS focuses on youth crime and violence prevention in targeted communities.  

This new focus involves a shift from crime and violence reduction to crime and violence prevention: "USAID/Jamaica will pursue greater partnership with the GoJ and other donor initiatives that address youth crime and violence. Partnerships with the private sector will provide support for the alternative livelihood components of our activities in the form of apprenticeships and jobs for at-risk youth. The result will be a more sustainable response to youth crime and violence prevention through increased local leadership."  

The CDCS places a strong emphasis on local capacity development: "Preventing youth crime and violence is a major focus of USAID/Jamaica’s new CDCS. Under its citizen security portfolio, USAID/Jamaica will support efforts to prevent youth crime and violence through improved youth-police relationships, provide support and tools for families and parents to increase their children’s resilience to violence, and strengthen services that provide the most atrisk children (perpetrators and victims of crime alike) with pathways away from crime. Additional assistance will focus on improving state institutions’ abilities to more effectively respond to crime. Throughout the design and implementation of its citizen security portfolio, USAID/Jamaica will look for means to address Trafficking in Persons (TIP) issues, build resilience within communities, and complement other GoJ and USG C-TIP efforts. During implementation of our CDCS, USAID/Jamaica will ensure that central to the design and implementation of our strategy will be the mission-wide effort to diversify our partner base, and engage (and co-create with) new and underutilized partners, including faith-based organizations; strengthen private sector engagement; support women’s economic empowerment; LGBT rights and advance religious freedom. USAID programs will work to incorporate the principles of procurement reform and support Jamaica as it leads its own development journey to the point when there is no longer a need for foreign assistance."

The CDCS states that USAID will work closely with the Ministry of  National Security to select target communities for interventions aimed at preventing youth crime and violence. 


The CDCS states that : "High levels of crime and violence continue to be a major concern of the GoJ and citizens of Jamaica—threatening the tourism industry and placing a heavy burden on the health sector. Jamaica has the third highest homicide rate in Latin America and the Caribbean at 47 deaths per 100,000 people. Its below average score on the USAID Roadmap’s “Safety and Security” metric confirms that crime and violence is still a pressing concern. Meanwhile, 40 percent of Jamaicans expressed views that police officers are involved in criminal activity.


Despite that perspective, there appears to be opportunity to further citizen trust in the police. Average levels of trusting the police were 43.9 points on a 0-100 point scale in 2017, 10 points higher than trust levels in 2014. On questions about the prospect for improved police-citizen cooperation in combating crime, Jamaican attitudes are favorable.


The GoJ has implemented several strategies to reduce the number of homicides and increase cooperation with the police. The Ministry of National Security ended its major intervention—the Citizen Security and Justice Program — in September 2019 and has launched a new Citizen Security Plan, which will seek to intensify and deepen interventions in targeted hot spot communities and address the challenges identified, including trust levels between police and citizens and impunity among public officials. To support this effort, USAID/Jamaica will seek opportunities to partner directly and indirectly with the host government, non-government organizations, and the private sector to prevent youth crime and violence in targeted communities, including through strengthening youth-police relations."

"Under Citizen Security, there are Community Development Committees (CDCs) that are supported by the GoJ’s Social Development Commission. The CDCs comprise CommunityBased Organizations and citizens and have varying levels of activism across the country."

"By the end of this strategy, USAID expects to have transformed how it engages partners and supports local leadership on the remaining self-reliance challenge of safety and security. In support of the Agency’s RDR principles, USAID will adopt more locally owned partnership models that put local actors in the lead for addressing their own challenges. As improving safety and security is also a GoJ priority, USAID will seek opportunities to strengthen, complement, and facilitate execution of GoJ plans. USAID will seek opportunities to partner directly with the GoJ; however, in contrast to past partnerships, government-to-government partnerships in this strategic period will adhere to the concept of FSR, emphasizing financial contributions and resources over in-kind contributions."

"Government cooperation alone will not suffice. Other J2SR principles (such as private sector engagement, locally led problem solving, co-creation and co-implementation) will be utilized. In addition to government stakeholders, USAID will engage firms, communities, families, academia and youth to determine the types of interventions, risk and resilience factors, communities, and institutions to target. Private sector engagement will form a critical component, as the interests of the private sector are aligned with increasing safety and security. Bringing the private sector into the equation will be a major focus of the Mission’s efforts. For instance, many businesses are already investing in crime prevention activities, although these initiatives are largely uncoordinated. USAID will work with the private sector to implement joint coordinated crime prevention interventions and mobilize financial resources towards crime and violence prevention programs."

"In Jamaica, youth are most often the perpetrators and victims of crime and violence. The Jamaican National Youth policy reveals that about 15 percent of students between ages 10 and 18 carry a weapon to school; 14 percent of boys and five percent of girls have been stabbed or shot in a fight; eight percent of all adolescents have been knocked unconscious; and one in six adolescents have belonged to a gang at some point in their lives. Moreover, youth are arrested, jailed, and murdered at twice the rate of the general population, with over 400 youth in juvenile correctional facilities and another large percentage in the general correctional services. Many possess criminal records that present obstacles to accessing legitimate social services and accompanying opportunities and that keep them confined in the perpetual cycle of a criminal and violent lifestyle. Jamaica’s crime epidemic also has a disproportionate impact on young males. An IDB study10 on crime and violence in Jamaica profiles most victims of homicide as, “male, young, uneducated, and poor.” The study found that, “In 2013, 90 percent of all victims were male” and 51 percent were under the age of 35. In 2017, the homicide rate per 100,000 of population, by sex, was 109.8 for male (Statistical Institute of Jamaica), compared to 60.2 for the overall population. Similar to the homicide victims, most perpetrators are young men."


"Approximately 97 percent of arrestees for murder in 2013 were young men under 35 years of age (ibid. pg 19). Per USAID/Jamaica’s Gender Analysis, the frequency of physical violence for males averaged 2,799 per year over the 2007-2012 period and the violence frequency for females averaged 311 during the same period. On the other hand, gang violence impacts women and girls in vulnerable areas in many ways. They often experience sexual coercion by gang members and refusal could result in punishment against themselves and their families. Women and girls are also victims of reprisal crimes, including sexual violence, for being perceived as having reported or actually reporting criminal activity to the police, or in relation to a personal or family vendetta."


"Development Hypothesis: If there is a holistic approach to youth crime and violence prevention that (1) addresses the risk and resilience factors faced by youth, families, communities, and societies on one hand, and (2) strengthens the enabling environment for crime and violence prevention on the other, then this will result in an overall reduction in levels of youth crime, violence and victimization over time in the programming in targeted areas. Development Hypothesis Narrative USAID’s own research11 into what does and does not work in preventing youth crime and violence provides evidence that informs the approach taken under this DO. Evidence demonstrates that a country’s violence problems will not be solved solely through higher investment in policing, increased incarceration rates, more education or employment. A holistic approach is needed."

"Traditional crime control measures do not address the underlying causes of violence, which include, among other things, broken families and social decay; neglected and abused children, with early exposure to violence; the erosion of moral authority by entrenched systems of lawlessness; and the influence of gang-dominated communities with poor physical infrastructure, poor education, and limited job opportunities. While it is necessary to deal resolutely with crime, to be truly effective in decreasing crime and violence, efforts must also simultaneously resolve the causes of violence. This requires a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach. The police and the security forces play an indispensable role, but they alone cannot solve all the social, economic, political, psychological, and cultural problems in a society."

"To formulate the right approach, multiple factors must be taken into consideration. Crime and violence reduction research recommends that programming focus on targeted geographical areas or “hot spots” instead of the general population. As such, programming under this IR will be geographically selective. Working with local partners and stakeholders, USAID will initially work with three to five communities where multiple interventions can be clustered, have depth, and be sustained. Communities will be selected from the Jamaican Ministry of National Security’s (MNS) 21 prioritized or “hotspot” communities in the parishes of Kingston, St. Andrew, St. James, St. Catherine, and Clarendon. GoJ data collection agencies identify these parishes as among those with the highest crime rates for the past several years."

"There is a general lack of trust between citizens and the police in Jamaica. However, despite this trust deficit, as reported in the 2018 LAPOP Survey,13 which found that, “the average level of trust in the police is 43.9 points on a 0-100 point scale,” there are also opportunities for law enforcement and communities to work together to prevent crime and violence. The study also revealed that, “64.8 percent of Jamaicans report that when the police come to their neighborhood, they come to help; about 74 percent of Jamaicans feel that the interests of people in their neighborhood are in common with those of the police; 65 percent of Jamaicans express a willingness to work with the police in their community to combat crime and almost 83 percent of Jamaicans feel that a closer working relationship between police and the community would reduce crime.” The Mission will capitalize on these opportunities as well, looking for opportunities to support the GoJ’s proximity policing effort and to enhance police-citizen relations. Per the USAID/Jamaica gender analysis, communities vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced labor include young women and children from poor households; child victims of sexual abuse; residents of Jamaica’s poverty-stricken areas effectively controlled by criminal “dons”; migrant workers; and workers in the informal sector, particularly on family farms and in markets and shops. Some boys may be subjected to forced criminal activity by gang members. Activities under IR 2.1 will therefore support countering trafficking in persons (C-TIP) efforts by building youth resilience to the pull of gangs that may participate in trafficking in persons."

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